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Jul 8, 2012

Giggs named Team GB skipper

Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs will captain Stuart Pearce's Team GB side at London 2012.

Giggs, 38, was named as one of three over-age players in Pearce's 18-man party, alongside Liverpool's Craig Bellamy and Manchester City's Micah Richards.

The Welshman, who retired from international duty in 2007 after winning 64 caps, has never appeared at a major international tournament.

Team GB boss Pearce said: "Ryan Giggs has been a fantastic professional over the years, someone I've been looking forward to working alongside.

"He was the standout captain in a group that's got the Welsh captain Aaron Ramsey here, Micah Richards who's captained Manchester City and Craig Bellamy who's been around the game a long time. There were one or two other candidates as well.

"But I think Ryan has gained the respect of the group - and he's got the respect of the management as well."

Giggs made 25 league starts for Sir Alex Ferguson's side last season, hitting the back of the net on two occasions, as he once again defied the passage of time to make a difference at the highest level.

Team GB will play a friendly against Brazil on July 20, before beginning their Olympic campaign against Senegal on July 26.

Giggs said he was proud to be handed the role and revealed his excitement for the Games.

"Obviously it is a tremendous honour to be part of the Olympics,'' he said. "Stuart has obviously given me the captaincy, which is even better so I am really looking forward to it. It is a unique experience and one from the start that I wanted to be part of when I got the opportunity.

"I think it just got more and more exciting as the Games got nearer and then when the squads were announced I was obviously really, really proud to be involved. We hope we can get gold. That is what the players are hoping for. The players are winners and want to do well. You want that gold medal.

"It is going to be tough because a lot of the other nations have picked good players and have got good team. It is going to be tough, but we have a good chance.''

Meanwhile, Daniel Sturridge will be assessed early next week to see whether he is able to represent Team GB after he fell ill last weekend with viral meningitis.

"Doctors had a look at him last week, visited him and basically he will stay here,'' Pearce said. "He won't come to Spain when we do our prep there and all being well we'll pick him up when we fly back into the Olympic Village Monday week. We will assess him at that time.

"The good thing is we probably have a couple of weeks to make a decision on his fitness. If he is fully fit, he will stay with us. If we think there are any doubts in any shape or form, we'll call someone else to replace him. July 25 is that latest we can make that decision.

"We still have a few weeks in respect to that, but the important thing is probably once we get him on the training pitch to look at him and see how he is and how much this illness has affected him.''

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